Squished Potatoes

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Hold on to your hats! This is not a desserts! It is a rare occasion that I post something that is not sweet, but in my defense my Mom made them.

I have seen photos of potatoes like these everywhere, Pinterest, Food Blogs, magazines, etc.  They looked delicious and easy, and in order for me to cook something it has to be easy or I don’t want it.  Weird, as I wold spend an entire day in the kitchen baking something…

The ‘new’ potatoes are starting to arrive on the market, you know the little wee ones with tones of dirt still on them.  My Mom, who is a big of a potato freak, gets very excited when they first arrive.  I was invited to my parents for dinner last week and when she said we were having little new potatoes I told her about this idea.  Now don’t get me wrong, I do love a good potato, but boiled potatoes are just boring!  Much to my surprise Mom loved the idea and we made a batch for dinner.  She was much less thrilled when I announced I would be taking pictures for a post, haha.  It slows things down and I make her stop and wait till i get the right picture.

I never read any of the recipes, just looked at the pictures, so we made this up as we went along.  I called them Smashed Potatoes.

Smashed Potatoes

very small potatoes, preferably new
toppings of your choice! We used bacon and Cheese

1. Wash your potatoes ensuring all dirt is removed

2. Boil potatoes until just cooked, don’t over cook

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3. Drain potatoes and place on a baking sheet

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4. With a potato masher, squish each potato to desired thickness

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5. Top with toppings of your choice.  The possibilities are endless! We used bacon and cheese.  You could use onions, BBQ sauces, spices, herbs, butters, different cheeses, WHAT EVER!

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6. Bake in oven or broil until cheese is melted, or your toppings are done.

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These were delicious!  It was like a cross between a potato skin and a loaded baked potato.  I can’t wait to make them again!

 

Roasted Beet Salad

Hold on to your hats, it’s another salad recipe!  Don’t worry I am not turning into a health nut and abandoning my baking, that will never happen!  I just have some extra time now that I am on summer holidays and I am trying new things.

I was introduced to this beet salad last week.  Linda had told me about it, and I really was not sure if I would like it or not, but when she was here she made it for me.  I love beets, but this recipe called for beet tops! The tops? Isn’t that the part that you throw out? We always did. Until now!

Roasted Salad

This is Linda’s recipe, not exactly sure where she got it from

1 bunch of beets – tops included

1 tsp minced garlic

1 T olive Oil

Feta crumbled – amount to preference

nuts – amount to preference

Vinegar/balsamic/lemon juice

Directions:

1. Separate beets from the tops

Normally I would have thrown all this away, KEEP IT!!!

2. Clean off beets – wash off any loose dirt

I have to wash mine in a bowl because I have a white sink and they stain the sink.  NOTE: never buy a white sink – keeping it clean is a nightmare!

3. Dry off and roast – I roasted mine on the BBQ.  Wrap in foil and turn often as not to burn.  I put one side on low and the other on medium. Took approx 45 minutes

5. While beets are roasting prepare the rest of the salad

6. Prepare you beet greens – trim off the stems and any thick woody veins, as they can be tough.  Wash and make sure to dry

7. Chop your greens – I found it easiest to layer, roll and slice

8. Chop nuts, I used pecans because that is what I had. I’m sure any nut would work

9. Crumble Feta

10. When beets are roasted, allow to cool enough to handle and remove skins.  Slice beets

11. In a large skillet, warm oil and add garlic

12. Add greens and saute until wilted and tender – I don’t like mine too wilted, I prefer it to have a bit of a bite

13. Assemble salad starting with greens, then beets, feta and nuts.  Add as much as you like – I did approx 1 T of each

14. Add vinegar – the original recipe calls for balsamic vinegar, (I hate balsamic vinegar) but I used regular vinegar and it was wonderful, lemon was also delicious! You could use any of your favourite dressings.

Delicious!!! I was so surprised that I liked this salad.  I was very unsure of the beet tops, but they were excellent, kind of like spinach. The roasted beet and feta really worked well together and the added crunch of the pecans was very nice.  The vinegar really pulled everything together nicely.  A very delicious salad, very refreshing.  I can see making this many more times as the fresh beets are now out!

Seven Layer Salad

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I’m sure you first thought is SALAD?? really? she’s posting about vegetables? I know its rare but this salad is amazing!

As long as I can remember this was always a staple at big meals at my Nana and Pops.  I used to hate it but grew to love it!  Mom now makes it every once in a while so this time I jumped in on the opportunity to share it.

It doesn’t look like much, and really when you read the ingredients you will probably think, ewwww!  Let me tell you its Awesome!  It is a little tedious to make with all the chopping and slicing so don’t just make one, we made 6 with this batch.  It’s a good excuse to share your goods.

Nana’s Seven Layer Salad

Ingredients

  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Green Peppers
  • Celery
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Water Chestnuts
  • Frozen Peas
  • Hellmann’s Mayo (it must be Hellmann’s!)
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Parmesan Cheese

1. Finely slice all veggies

2. Chop the lettuce

3. Grate cheese

4. From here you just layer the ingredients.  The middle order does not really matter but always start with the lettuce

5. Now layer your veggies. Press them down between each layer, get as much in as you can.  As I said it really doesn’t matter the order, but try to separate the colours especially if you have a glass bowl, looks nicer.

***Always end with the Peas**

***and YES put the peas on FROZEN right from the freezer***

6. Spread the Mayo. Now you have to trust me on this one, you must use Hellmann’s Mayo.  It does not turn out with anything but.  Trust me we have tried.  As a rule I don’t like Hellmann’s, always use Miracle Whip but it doesn’t work here.  Don’t be cheap and get the no name “salad dressing type” it must be Hellmann’s.  There I think I got my point across!

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Spread it right over the frozen peas.  Works best by  putting a huge dollop in the middle and working out.  Just like icing a cake.

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7. Layer of grated mozzarella cheese, don’t be stingy, pile it up, its ok if it goes over the top of the bowl.

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8. Sprinkle parmesan cheese

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Done!

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Now here is the kicker, you can’t eat it for 24 hours!!! I know torture!  All that work and you have to wait.  Trust me it’s worth the wait.

***Very important cover with Tin foil or aluminum foil*** not plastic wrap.  I have no idea why, but that is what Nana said to do, so that’s what we do.

24 hours later…..

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As good as I remembered.  The longer it sits the better it gets.  You simply must make it!

Thanks Mom!

Pickled Carrots and Beans

DSCN3873For a couple of years now I have wanted to try canning.  Not sure why.  I had never done it before, but I really like the idea of making what I am eating.  It just seems a little more rewarding.

I looked all over for recipes, there are so many to choose from.  I wanted to try a salsa or something, but I figured I should start with something simple since I had never done this before.  I settled with a recipe for Pickling carrots and beans.  I have had then before and loved them.  Seemed simple enough.

Pickled Carrots and Beans

4 pounds carrots and beans

8 garlic cloves

1/2 cup canning or pickling salt

4 cups white vinegar (5%)

4 cups water

Fresh dill

Wash and trim beans and carrots to fit jars, about for inches.

In each sterile jar (boil for 10 mintues).

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Place 1-2 dill sprigs and garlic.

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Place beans and carrots up right in jars, squeeze in as many as possible.  leaving half inch head space.

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Boil for 5 min water, vinegar and salt.  Pour boiling liquid into jars, making sure to cover the veggies and leave a little room (1/ inch) at the top.  Place lids on and secure tightly.

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Return jars to the water bath and boil for 10 minutes.  Remove from water and let cool on counter.  You will hear the jar lids pop as they seal.  If they dont seal put in fridge and eat in a timely manner.

And now we wait…..